United Services Portsmouth RFC community spirit
The Royal Navy Rugby Union’s member club, United Services Portsmouth RFC appointed a new Director of Rugby, Nick Parker, just as the COVID19 government lockdown was established. One of Nick’s immediate priorities was to build a sense of ‘club community’. Community spirit has become a key topic on our national agenda, it has helped many get through one of the toughest periods in our lifetimes, which is why this rugby club (like many others around the country) saw it as essential to build a community that looks out for individual physical and mental welfare.
They have creatively hosted digital team social events to bring people together and build those relationships that make rugby such a special sport. But more recently, in May 2020, they organised a campaign to encourage physical wellbeing; “The Great Race to New Hampshire”.
The challenge saw teams complete the distance from Portsmouth UK to Portsmouth New Hampshire, USA (a distance of 3,200 miles) in just 30 days whilst also fundraising for NHS Charities together (an original fundraising target of £1000). The rules were simple; teams of up to 25 members, 30 days and a maximum of 1-hour exercise (run, walk, cycle) registered each day.
It was quickly noticed that rugby players thrive on a sense of competition which saw the challenge recruit other sports clubs to take part (University of Portsmouth RFC, Portsmouth Hockey Club, Southsea Nomads RFC, Portsmouth RFC, Petersfield RFC, Ellingham and Ringwood RFC, Haringey Rhinos RFC (North London) and Rugby Against Cancer, a locally based charity raising money for various cancer charities). Over 22,285 miles were completed in 30 days with over £2,340 fundraised for charity.
A huge congratulations to all involved, showcasing that special connection between rugby players and their club; a great step towards re-building the club’s cohesive vision for next season.
To find out more about this fundraiser or to donate please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/team/USPteam
Image credit:© Keith Woodland / K Woodland Photography
By line Hugo Mitchell-Heggs